What is the deal with ponds and beneficial bacteria?
Beautiful ponds and beneficial bacteria go together! Beneficial bacteria helps keep algae at bay. This bacteria is very important to have in a pond. We recommend 3/4″ gravel in the bottom of ponds to provide a place for beneficial bacteria to colonize. While bacteria occurs naturally in a pond, it is difficult for it to keep up with an enclosed ecosystem. Things like fish load, uneaten fish food and organic debris disrupt the balance of the ecosystem and can cause unwanted algae. The addition of beneficial bacteria on a regular basis helps prevent this.
You may have purchased a variety of pond treatments and aren’t sure what is what. Beneficial bacteria is completely safe for fish and animals.
CFU – (Colony Forming Unit)
There are countless strains of bacteria and there are different strains in different products. Some products have a higher concentration of bacteria than others. For instance, the dry beneficial bacteria from Aquscape has a 3.0 billion CFU per ounce potency. The cold water strains have about 1.5 billion CFU.
Dry or Liquid?
Liquid bacteria jumpstarts the ecosystem as it works more quickly. However, dry bacteria offers different strains of bacteria which provides a diversity to increase overall stability of the whole system. Good bacteria along with aeration, fish and plants create the balanced ecosystem that is a beautiful pond.
There are strains of beneficial bacteria that will die once the water goes below a certain temperature. Cold water bacteria can be added to the water down to temperatures of 35 degrees. Regular bacteria can only be used down to about 55 degrees. Temperature is a big reason why we see algae blooms in the springtime. Just as different trees and flowers bloom at different times, the various biological elements of the pond “wake up” at separate times too. The plant life and the bacteria come to life just slightly after the algae. This is why we see algae blooms in the early spring – the other plants haven’t gotten to work yet and this gives the algae a head start.
It is the algaecide that you want to be careful with! Algaecide can harm fish and animals if not used correctly. It also kills beneficial bacteria, disrupting the ecosystem we are trying to balance! To read more about it, click HERE.
Want a beautiful pond that is easy to maintain?
Ponds and beneficial bacteria go together! Add bacteria:
- Once a week (from April to November)
- The day after it rains (extra dose)
- Twice a week in hot temperatures
- More often if you are having a green water issue (try adding different types of bacteria to get a better variety of strains in)
To read more about pond ecosystems and how to keep them healthy, check out more articles by clicking HERE.